How To Get Audio Files Transcribed

Having a recorded interview, telephone conversation or dictation transcribed into a readable format is a tedious task if you do it manually, regardless if you do it for a living or not. Transcription basically means that you will have to play the audio file over and over again, while you type your way in data that could be full of mistakes. You will then have definitely wasted your time and effort. However, it does not have to be that way. There are now programs that you could use to aid in audio to text transcription. Below are some tips on how you may be able to do so.

  • Upload. Assuming that your audio file is digital format, you can upload the data in your computer in either an .mp3, .wav or .wma format. Files that are in .wav are generally larger since these have larger bitrates in terms of audio quality. Make sure that you store the file in a folder that is accessible (Desktop, My Documents) so you won’t have difficulty in retrieving the data. Audio CDs are loaded directly and are automatically played.
  • Download. To make things easier, you can download free software online that can aid in transcribing audio to a text file. One program free for download is Express Scribe, a tool used for audio to text data transfers. This program is fairly easy to use with features such as speed playback, supports audio and video and utilizes hot keys to control playback of audio. This program works with Microsoft Word and all word processors, as well as compatibility with speech recognition software to automatically convert speech to text. This program can also play most forms of audio and video files such as 3GP, AVI, DIVX, FLV, MKV, MOV, MP4, MPEG, WMV and many others.
  • Learn. Once you have the necessary software, learn how the software works first. Adjust the settings and options suited for your needs, or you can achieve it by browsing through the Help option in the toolbar.  An external device that you could also use would be a foot pedal, which speeds up or slows down the audio, depending on the speed of your typing skill. If you do not have a foot pedal, you could always use the hot keys in the program.
  • Begin transcription. Choose the “Load” option in your toolbar which prompts a box that makes you choose the file from your hard drive to load in the interface. Now you can start transcribing your audio data in your word processing program. You can also choose the Scribe Mini option from the main screen to have Express Scribe miniaturized to reduce screen size and be accessed easily while you do your work. When you are finished, click “Done.”

When you finish transcribing, make sure that you simultaneously listen to the audio and read your work over and over again to make sure that you did not miss any audio nor make any errors. Even with a program like Express Scribe to aid you, there is still room for error. Rechecking your work will ensure a job well done. Good luck!


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